Matternet CEO says Amazon drone delivery is still ‘a couple years out’


CEO at Matternet says he believes drone delivery from Amazon is not as close as it may seem.

This comes after the tech firm launched its new delivery drone and said it expected drone delivery ‘within months’.

Speaking on YFi PM, Andreas Raptopoulos, founder and CEO of Matternet, said: “Based on our analysis, they’re probably a couple years out before we can see a commercial operation that will be the type of scale that Amazon would like to see.”

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Adding: “What Amazon has announced last week is that they are getting a special airworthiness certificate for one of their aircraft drone, but they haven’t yet announced what they’re doing on the operation side.”

The new drone has a hybrid design meaning it has VTOL capability like a helicopter while having the efficiency and aerodynamics of an airplane.

In his presentation, Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, described how it can transition between the VTOL and airplane modes easily.

Addressing many of the safety concerns raised by the general public about drone delivery, Wilke said the drone’s AI capabilities allow it to not just fly autonomously but also react to real-life, unexpected situations, meaning the drone is ‘independently safe.’

However, Matternet’s Raptopoulos is still sceptical about just how soon it can be implemented.

He told YFi PM: “You have 2 things to make it work: you need a vehicle that’s certified to fly or integrate safely into the airspace. And you need what is called Part 135, authorization in order to operate a UAS airline.”

Tags : Amazondrone delivery
Alex Douglas

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